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The Dark Knight - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
The Dark Knight
Incidentally, despite plans to see The Dark Knight on Saturday with my work buddies, Joe and I grabbed Sarah Grey last night (she was in her PJs, which we declared Appropriate For Consumption Of Superheroics) and went to see it. We're still seeing it on Saturday, we just figured beforehand it'd be so good we'd want to see it twice. And we were SO RIGHT.

It's awesome. It's amazing. It's thoughtful. It's clever. It's everything I'd hoped for and more. My high expectations were nowhere near high enough! I can generally pick twists in films before they happen but this one got me more than once.

Also, I enjoyed Iron Man, but this film? This is in another league.

Heath Ledger, who I've been a fan of since his Aussie-indie-film days ("Two Hands" - rent it, watch it, admire it!) is stunning. He owned that role. I have never seen another envisioning of the character, even within the comic books themselves, that was anywhere near as effective as this one. The Joker plays a part in the epilogue but we only really get to know him in what I consider his true entrance: he enters with a bang in the "magic trick" moment that had Joe and I laughing, guiltily, for two solid minutes, and leaves with an icy whisper. The Joker's last couple of minutes in the film and the brilliant framing of that sequence by Nolan sent chills down my spine. The entire film was tinted with sadness for me because watching Heath Ledger play the Joker so brilliantly is a constant punch-in-the-guts reminder of what a great actor he'd have grown into: our generation's Brando, perhaps. We'll never know.

This film obliterates the memory of the Burton series of Batman films. It even makes 'Batman Begins', the director's previous film, look like a lighthearted frolic in the park. Relentlessly paced and utterly dark from beginning to end, THIS is what Batman should be. And it's the most successful comic book adaption I've ever seen. Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, they're all great superhero films. The Dark Knight is more than that: it's a great film, period. The fact that it originated from a comic book is incidental.

When the Academy Awards roll around this year, I'm rooting for Nolan for Best Director, Ledger for posthumous Best Actor. Not sure yet if I'm cheering for this as Best Film as I haven't seen everything else that's come out this year, but since the Academy neatly snipped away any chance an ANIMATED film ever had of winning that title (can't have a cartoon win best film! The Oscars are SRS BZNS! Let's marginalise them in their own little category from now on!) I know I'll get a little shot of glee if a superhero film manages it.
6 have fought ~ fight the power!
xxbalaaxx From: xxbalaaxx Date: July 18th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC) (Link)
thank you, I don't often go see movies in theaters..money and being too far from most friend folk to drag anyone along, but your review..makes it a must see :D.
tania From: tania Date: July 18th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Enjoy! Be warned, it's very dark from start to finish - but it does it OH so well!
xxbalaaxx From: xxbalaaxx Date: July 18th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I am absolutely going for the dark element >>>}...though I have to say I enjoyed the Burton batman back in the day. The Super Hero movie industry has since switched gears, for the better, but back in the late 80's early 90's batman, they were not privvy to the use of cg in the films..so it was all hand designed sets..matte painting etc to bring the world alive. The focus was on unbelievability on the big screen, something wild and crazy and action oriented..and I liked them for what they were, not for what they aren't compared to today's movies. Mind you I love seeing more vulnerable and 'human' super heros, but I can still kick back and enjoy some of the older flicks for the afore mentioned reasons. That being said, huzzah Dark Knight, I am amped about seein' it :D.
sigmoidal_suseq From: sigmoidal_suseq Date: July 18th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Ledger = Brando????

Maybe DeNiro or Malcolm McDowell but I don't think Brando, I don't think he ever did A Ten Things I Hate About You counterpart.
stokerbramwell From: stokerbramwell Date: July 18th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was floored. I went in with high expectations and was NOT disappointed. Just...wow.
c_eagle From: c_eagle Date: July 19th, 2008 09:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Best Review Yet.... thanks! 8>
6 have fought ~ fight the power!